Tigers fall apart late vs. Twins; Nick Maton optioned to Toledo

Detroit News

Detroit — The Tigers were trying to beat two things on Sunday: Mother Nature and the Twins.

They ended up beating themselves.

A pair of misplays at third base turned costly and the Tigers fell to the AL Central-leading Twins, 6-3, in a 10-inning series finale at Comerica Park, which was pushed up from 1:40 p.m. to 12:10 p.m. due to inclement weather that was set to hit the Metro Detroit area.

BOX SCORE: Twins 6, Tigers 3 (10 innings)

The Tigers (33-43) were clinging to a 3-2 lead late until things started to go awry. With two outs, Royce Lewis drew a five-pitch walk from Jose Cisnero and pinch-hitter Ryan Jeffers singled off Chasen Shreve with two outs.

Shreve then got former Tiger Willi Castro to hit a chopper to third base, which should’ve ended the inning. But Nick Maton’s throw was off the mark and sailed past first baseman Spencer Torkelson, allowing Lewis to score the game-tying run.

Then in the 10th inning, Maton whiffed on a grounder hit to his left by Lewis and it trickled into left field, allowing the go-ahead run to score from second base. The Twins tacked on two more runs on RBI singles from Castro and Christian Vazquez to pour salt in the wound.

Maton was optioned to Triple-A Toledo following the game.

Early on, it appeared neither offense got the memo of the time change. Twins starter Bailey Ober made quick work of the Tigers, needing just 19 pitches to send them down in order the first two innings.

But in the third, Detroit’s bats finally showed up. Matt Vierling led things off with a single and Jake Rogers followed with a double to deep left field, putting two runners in scoring position with no outs.

Zach McKinstry cashed in on the opportunity with a two-run double down the right-field line. Two batters later, Kerry Carpenter singled through the right side and McKinstry beat the throw to home plate, giving the Tigers a 3-2 lead.

The Twins (40-39) struck first and a took a 2-0 lead in the top half of the inning. Vazquez roped a single before tagging up and advancing to second and third on back-to-back flyouts to center. Vazquez then trotted home when Donovan Solano launched a 1-1 off-speed pitch from Michael Lorenzen 420 feet into the left-center field seats.

Minnesota threatened the next two innings, but Detroit’s defense helped Lorenzen escape unscathed. With runners on first and second with two outs, shortstop Javier Báez made a diving play up the middle, pump-faked an underhand toss to second and fired a bullet to first to end the inning.

Then in the fifth, Lorenzen ran into a first-and-third situation against Correa after giving up back-to-back, one-out hits to Edouard Julien and Solano. But Lorenzen, once again, worked out of the jam by getting Correa to bounce into a 6-4-3 double play, preserving a one-run lead that the Tigers couldn’t maintain.


Twitter: @jamesbhawkins

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